Planning a photo shoot

Getting the best results

Arranging finished project photography is a commitment of your time, money and resources. More than that, with some projects there is often only one opportunity to photograph. We want the very best results, and great photography rarely happens by accident. Careful planning and communication will always lead to a more efficient and productive shoot.

Each project is unique, but these notes will help to identify and address issues that may come up in the planning and production of any architectural photography assignment.

Before the shoot

Provide the exact location.

Can you walk through the project? If not can you provide maps, site plans, progress photographs?  Time spent on the day of photography getting oriented, planning shot lists and schedule is time taken away from production.

What are the assignment goals? What design concepts, materials, spaces need to be highlighted? Any elements to downplay or avoid? How many spaces do you want to have photographed, how many views?

Who will use the photography and how?  What is your target audience-  proposals, contests, publication?

Are other parties interested in using the photography?

Is sharing cost with another party a possibility? Normally photography is licensed for use by a single party only. Multi party arrangements should be confirmed before the shoot.

What is the time window? Are there limitations on access?

Delivery deadlines or special formats needed? Allow enough time for post production work and delivery.

At the site

Issues to consider-

Is the site ready for photography, is this a good time to photograph?

Are the owners and management expecting the photographer and crew?
Do they understand the level of production and amount of time involved?

Some may assume that photography will be a quick process involving a few hand held snapshots.
Let’s avoid surprises. They need to understand what is involved.

Will client or a representative be present for the shoot?

If not does the photographer clearly understand your requirements?
Can you be contacted during photography?

Has access been arranged to the site?

Can photographer, crew and equipment get in and out after hours?
Do we need to use the loading dock? Keys, keycards, alarms?
Can all windows and blinds be accessed?
Is an insurance certificate required?

Time of year

Consider natural lighting and sun angles.
Will we get sun on the main facade? Leaves on trees, shrubs and plants in flower? Seasonal decorations?

Time of day

Traffic, parked cars.  Natural lighting or mixed lighting. Photography while people are working or after hours? Photograph on the weekend?

Is all construction complete?

Has there been a recent site visit?
Trailers, dumpsters, silt fences removed?
Permanent signage in place and illuminated?

Site conditions

Windows clean?
Can we control parking or traffic?
Is landscaping settled, has the sod grown in?

Possible disruptions

Avoid scheduling conflicts with landscape crews, window cleaners, maintenance crews.
Can sprinklers be delayed?


Are all bulbs and circuits working?
Can light controls and electrical panels be accessed?
Can timers and photocells be adjusted for twilight photography?


All tenants notified?
Public spaces clean, housekeeping available?
All furnishings installed?
Is move-in complete or are there boxes everywhere?
Paintings and artwork in place?
Flowers and plants available or needed?
Props and accessories planned?


[email protected]

404 633 1030

 548 North Superior Avenue

Decatur  GA 30033